If you did not know the Pop Culture Auctioneer’s Hake’s has started their newest action, number 204. It is of course filled with lots of high quality Pop Culture and historical memorabilia, including these incredible Monster cereal premium art pieces. Each of the 3 pieces is from the the archives of premium creators Sam & Gordon Gold and features a Monster Cereal Premium that never made it into stores.
The Monster Cereals are still going strong in most stores right now and should be for the rest of the month. While in some places you can get the cereal year round, for many it is seasonal in its availability. Which is a shame, this is great stuff and their was a time when you could get it at anytime. When you ask? Well just as recently as the 1980s. In the 1980s you could go into any supermarket and spot a box of Franken Berry like the one that John Gavula was kind enough to upload to Flickr. I remember this package because i loved the juxtaposition of the classic monster and the colorful mascot.
The cereal premium market in the 1970s and 1980s was aggressive to say the least. So I am never surprised when a very cool premium I missed during that time period suddenly materializes. This week it is this wonderful duo of Monster Cereal Pencil cases that are being sold at Hake’s. Available in Count Chocula Brown and of course Franken Berry Blue??? booth of the pencil cases also have a nifty little change purse on the front as well. Perfect for stowing milk money.
I love Boo Berry cereal. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I just find that laid-back droopy eyed blue bastard and his delicious cereal so damn appealing. So enamored am I that every Halloween I stock my cabinets full of the Monster Cereals (usually 5 or 6 boxes) and by December its all gone. I eat it for snacks, breakfast..anytime.
While having a bowl for dinner this evening I thought to myself “I really like this cereal. I should find out more about it.” So I got on the internet and compiled some fun fact I thought my fellow Monster Cereal fans might enjoy.
– Franken Berry and Count Chocula were introduced by General Mills in 1971, Boo Berry came along 2 years later and in 1974 Fruit Brute was released.
– The flavors of the 5 monsters cereals are:
— Count Chocula = Frosted Chocolate flavored cereal with marshmallows.
— Franken Berry = Frosted Strawberry flavored cereal with marshmallows.
— Boo Berry = Frosted Blue Berry flavored cereal with marshmallows.
— Fruit Brute = Frosted Fruit flavored cereal with lime flavored marshmallows.
— Yummy Mummy = Frosted Fruit flavored cereal with vanilla flavored marshmallows.
– Fruit Brute was first Monster Cereal to be discontinued. They stopped making it in 1983.
– In 1987, General Mills came up with a new fruity cereal and created a brand new spokesmonster, Yummy Mummy. His reign of fruity terror came to end in 1993. Technically GM never considered Yummy Mummy a part of the Monster Cereal line, but of course we know better.
– Although Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy cereals have never been revived their spokesmonster images still can be found on Monster Cereal merchandise. A rarity in the cereal world.
– Contrary to popular belief Franken Berry and Boo Berry have not been discontinued. They are just not as popular as Count Chocula so they get a more sporadic nationwide release. Best time to look for them? Halloween, of course.
– Count Chocula was briefly discontinued to consumer conern over its sugar level. It has since been re-released in a more “healthy” form. It now has 9 less calories per cup.
– The initial run of Franken Berry contained a dye that did not break down in the body and caused the consumers stool to come out a disturbing pink. This phenomenon came to be called…wait for it…Franken Berry Stool. A new dye was quickly implemented.
– If Boo Berry sounds familiar it is because it is an actor imitating the famed actor Peter Lorre (who bears a resemblence to Boo Berry). The voice of Count Chocula is modeled after Bela Lugosi and had been voiced by the great Larry Kenney (father of Reno 911’s Kerry Kenney-Silver). Franken Berry’s voice was modeled after Boris Karloff.
– The Monster Cereal ads were created by the Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample ad agency.
– Count Chocula’s original catchphrase was “I vant to eat you cereal”.
Of course one of the things that really sell the Monster Cereal is the awesome commercials. Here are a few of my favorites:
Early 1970s Franken Berry vs. County Chocula
1970s Franken Berry, County Chocula and Boo Berry
1980s and Franken Berry and County Chocula are still at it. But now they have been merged into live action setting.
A rare commercial from 1984 that has Boo Berry,County Chocula and …Richard Nixon???